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GameStop Wants To Sell Secondhand Digital Download Video Games 123

MojoKid writes "GameStop makes a killing selling used videogames, but what happens to that business model when digital distribution platforms run physical media out of town? That's not anything to worry about today, tomorrow, next week, or even next year, but at some point, GameStop will have to deal with the direction the games industry is headed, and it may already have a solution. GameStop CEO Paul Raines recently brought up the possibility of reselling used digital downloads."
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GameStop Wants To Sell Secondhand Digital Download Video Games

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  • Good Luck (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NalosLayor ( 958307 ) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @02:14AM (#40806075)
    Putting an end to Gamestop's business model is exactly what the publishers intended to do when they started moving to digital downloads. Add to that the DMCA which makes it illegal to circumvent such practices and the non-existence of the right of first sale for digital goods and Gamestop is up a creek without a paddle. And as much as I dislike Gamestop, so are we.
  • Re:Good Luck (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday July 29, 2012 @03:40AM (#40806329) Journal

    Actually last time I went into Gamestop (a couple of months ago when my nephew wanted to go there as part of his BDay) they were seriously big into gift cards for things like Steam, WoW, and just about every other MMO and game seller you can name. Made it easy for a kid like him to get some extra goodies on his favorite Korean MMO without having to worry about having a CC or trying to get his parents to use theirs which they sure as hell wouldn't on some funky overseas MMO.

    But I got to agree about the Steam sales, its great to not only load up on the new stuff but to get the old games you may have missed. I personally got the HL 1 collection (lost my HL 1 disc ages ago and never got around to Blue Shift or Opposing force) for like $5, my oldest got him some TF classic for $2, not to mention the newer games like Bulletstorm, Saints Row 3 (we all got that one, its a hoot in co-op) as well as some indies like Trine 2 and both boys got the dungeon defenders series which they are playing the hell out of.

    I just have to wonder how many publishers other than Valve will let you keep playing old games? i mean I fired up HL 1 DM and TF Classic and was blasting in full servers within seconds, but you look at a company like EA and they won't let you run your own servers and pull the plug after like a year and a half for many games. Who is gonna want to buy older games if half the game is broken?

  • Re:Good Luck (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lisias ( 447563 ) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @04:21AM (#40806435) Homepage Journal

    At the same time it is incredibly destructive and long-term death spiral for the industry and consumers as a whole.

    Please elaborate.

    As far as I'm concerned, selling used goods drives a industry into a spiral death only when the industry itself is already stagnated and obsolete.

    When people refuses to buy new things from, sticking with the old ones, the problem is YOU.

  • Re:Good Luck (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gallondr00nk ( 868673 ) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @07:03AM (#40806853)

    Last week on the big Steam summer sale I picked up copies of Batman: Arkham Asylum for $4 and KoTOR (I lost my discs years ago and have been wanting another play-through) for $2. The system works. And works far better for every level from the developers to the consumers. The only people is does not serve better are parasitic rent seekers like GameStop.

    I take exception to the idea that Steam is better for consumers. WIth physical media, I buy the game, I own the disk, and then I'm responsible for what I do with it. I've got originals of games from 1995 on CD.

    With Steam, I give up:
              - Physical ownership of the game medium.
              - The ability just to install it standalone w/o client software.
              - Control of patches and updates.*
              - The ability to resell or transfer ownership.
              - Guaranteed access to the game.

    Valve might seem all nice now, but what if in 5 years time they go the Origin route and start ditching game support? Or jacking prices because they own a virtual monopoly on game distribution? I can see both happening one day. Dominent market positions get abused.

    Steam might grant a little convenience, but takes a lot of control. Is it worth it? Hardly.

    Older Steam games are cheap only because Valve decide they are. In the second hand market, it's because the market values it at that price. At the risk of sounding like a wanky free-marketeer, I'd rather have the latter. Yes Valve set prices based on demand, but with Steam the ball is entirely in their court.

    * I own Saints Row 2 on Steam. Every time it updates to current, the game becomes hideously unstable on my machine. Stopping it from patching is nigh on impossible.

  • this is FUD and BS (Score:2, Insightful)

    by slashmydots ( 2189826 ) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @10:34AM (#40807685)
    Not 1 single gamer I know wants a digital-only copy of anything ever. Unless it's half the price or the only option, they want a physical copy so if anything happens to the company, their account, their computer, etc they can still play the game. For the tiny amount of people who prefer digital, it's like iTunes. You only need to get burned by losing everything once before you decide that's not a good idea.

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